RMERF counts, October 4

Wednesday, October 3 [Day 13] (Cliff Hansen, assisted by Jim Davis) 0730-1930. The starting temperature was -5C but rose to a high from 1500 to 1700 of 11C and was 3C at 1900. It was calm to 1000 then light variable but mostly NE light winds for the rest of the day. Ridge winds were also light and also probably NE. On arrival cloud cover was 10% cirrus but gradually increased to 90% altocumulus and cirrus from 1300 to 1600 after which it was 50% for the rest of the day. Observing conditions were good but the first migrant did not appear until 1417, and after 1500 there was a steady stream of migrants that generally moved low above the Fisher Range. The total of 72 migrant raptors of 6 species comprised 3 Bald Eagles (1sa, 2j), 4u Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1j Cooper’s Hawk, 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 1 adult dark morph calurus Red-tailed Hawk, 1 dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, 1 unidentified dark morph Buteo and 60 Golden Eagles (10a, 9sa, 33j, 8u). Thirty-two of the birds moved between 1800 and 1822 with the last bird of the day, a juvenile Golden Eagle going to roost high at the northern end of the Fisher Range. Other birds included a singing Northern Pygmy-Owl, 1 Clark’s Nutcracker and 4 American Robins, and there were 34 visitors to the site including 26 grade 5 students and staff from Langevin School in Calgary.

12 hours (152.8) BAEA 3 (35), SSHA 4 (54), COHA 1 (10), UA 1 (2), RTHA 1 (18), RLHA 1 (5), UB 1 (4), GOEA 60 (351) TOTAL 72 (505)

 

Vicki Ridge [Day 14] (Peter Sherrington) 0900-1830. Owing to a temperature inversion it was 1C at the base of the ridge but 9C at the ridge-top site where it remained to 1400 when it rose to 10C before falling to 7C at 1730. Winds were light E-ENE all day and it was often calm for extended periods. Cloud cover was initially 30% altocumulus which progressively increased to 100% altostratus at 1500 which persisted for the rest of the day and thickened after 1600 to provide a gloomy end to the proceedings. Despite the light winds there was a fairly strong raptor movement of 106 birds of 9 species that migrated between 1051 and 1648 including season-high counts for Cooper’s Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk and Rough-legged Hawk, although there was only a meagre count of 10 Golden Eagles and no falcons were seen. It was also a bumper day for dark morph Buteos that comprised 54% of that genus. The count was 2 Bald Eagles (1a, 1sa), 23 Sharp-shinned Hawks (13a, 10u), 8 Cooper’s Hawks (6a, 2u), 6 Northern Goshawks (5a, 1j), 1 unidentified small Accipiter, 5 Broad-winged Hawks (4 light morphs: 2a, 2j; and 1 juvenile dark morph), 43 Red-tailed Hawks (19 adult light morph calurus, 23 dark morph calurus (16a, 4j, 3u) and 1j dark morph harlani), 1 adult dark morph Ferruginous Hawk, 5 Rough-legged Hawks (3 light, 2 dark), 2 unidentified dark Buteos and 10 Golden Eagles (4a, 4sa, 1j). There was much soaring flight with kettles involving up to 7 birds, and many birds were seen up to 2 kilometres east of the ridge. Peak movement was 29 between 1100 and 1200, and 31 between 1300 and 1400 and there was a secondary peak of 24 birds between 1500 and 1600. The resident pair of Golden Eagles was in evidence for much of the day with the male displaying at 1422. With the exception of ravens the only songbirds seen on the ridge were 1 Mountain Bluebird, 7 American Robins and 3 Dark-eyed [Oregon] Juncos. There were fresh Bobcat tracks near the site along with those of White-footed Mouse and Least Chipmunk which it was probably hunting.

8.5 hours (112.6) BAEA 2 (17), SSHA 23 (424), COHA 8 (61), NOGO 6 (43), UA 1 (2), BWHA 5 (24), RTHA 43 (136), FEHA 1 (5), RLHA 5 (7), GOEA 10 (192) TOTAL 106 (975)

 

Steeples (Vance Mattson) NO OBSERVATION

 

 

MOUNT LORETTE SUMMARY COUNT (September 20 to November 15)

 

DAYS 13

HOURS 152.8

TURKEY VULTURE (TUVU) 0

OSPREY (OSPR) 1

BALD EAGLE (BAEA) 35

NORTHERN HARRIER (NOHA) 3

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (SSHA) 54

COOPER’S HAWK (COHA) 10

NORTHERN GOSHAWK (NOGO) 10

Accipiter sp. (UA) 2

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (BWHA) 1

SWAINSON’S HAWK (SWHA) 0

RED-TAILED HAWK (RTHA) 18

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (FEHA) 0

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (RLHA) 5

Buteo sp. (UB) 4

GOLDEN EAGLE (GOEA) 351

Eagle sp. (UE) 2

AMERICAN KESTREL (AMKE) 0

MERLIN (MERL) 2

GYRFALCON (GYRF) 0

PEREGRINE FALCON (PEFA) 3

PRAIRIE FALCON (PRFA) 2

Falco sp. (UF) 0

Unidentified Raptor (UU) 2

 

TOTAL 505